Rank Last Year: 21.
Title: The Old New Liners.
Status Report: The ouster of former production prez Michael De Luca demonstrated the chill that AOL Time Warner has cast on spending. But New Line also had a plain ol’ bad year. Adam Sandler spent $80 million of the studio’s money on Little Nicky, which made less than half of that back, and the troubled Town & Country staggered toward the same cost. Betting on the $270 million The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Strength: Returning to what they do best—niche marketing at sub–$50 million budgets.
Weakness: If the first installment of Rings tanks, all bets are off.
Yes, It’s True: De Luca took the fall for Nicky, even though Shaye had signed off on cost overruns.
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